Autumn is my favorite season for a variety of reasons: the slow ease into cooler, less humid weather after the brutal heat of summer. The pageantry of football season. Green leaves morphing to gold and scarlet. The smell of wood smoke wafting from a chimney.

Ruth Pettey JonesI do love these things. But I suspect the true reason autumn stakes a claim on my heart is because it reminds me of my days at The W, first as a freshman and later as an upper classman. For me, returning to campus each fall always felt like coming home.

The University remains as beautiful now as it was when I was a student. Callaway's clock tower still presides over front campus. The Old Maid's Gate continues to beckon. Things change, though, and often in a good way. Poindexter Hall has been returned to its former glory. A most-welcome library expansion is under way. And in what used to be the Goose, a Subway sandwich shop recently opened. The renovated patio behind Hogarth Student Center now offers a spot to visit over coffee or eat a bite next to a beautiful fountain.

Your contributions to The W Fund helped pay for these improvements. In fact, the Foundation's provided more than $1.7 million in University assistance in FY 2013. Just over 1,800 of you contributed more $2.2 million to The W. What a wonderful way to honor our alma mater! On behalf of the Foundation Board, thank you for your generosity.

If you haven't made a contribution to the Foundation this year, I encourage you to consider how you can support the Long Blue Line. A gift of forty dollars or more makes you an active, voting member of our alumni association and gives you the opportunity to participate in MUWAA activities.

Feeling more generous? Endowing a scholarship requires a minimum gift of $15,000 and can be paid over a five-year period. All endowed scholarships are named according to the donor's wishes, and the donor works with University staff to establish criteria used to award the scholarship to deserving students. I can't think of a more gracious way to honor our MUW.

I hope you enjoy this gift called autumn. Soon enough, winter will be here with all the beauty of another season. As we move quickly toward the holidays and year-end, I have much to be thankful for. As part of the Long Blue Line, we all do.


Warm Regards,

Ruth Pettey Jones
Class of 1976
MUW Foundation Board